Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I tried to post this earlier, but Internet Explorer decided I'd performed an illegal operation and shut itself down. No, I didn't shoot anyone. No, I didn't do any drugs or sell any. There was no indecent exposure involved. So what did I do that was so illegal???? I ask you...

Yesterday, some of the NOLA blogpocheh pinpointed yet another example of our walking id of a mayor's foot-in-mouth disease. Really, it was neither new, nor was it news, but it did put me in mind of a Hasidic tale:

A man who was a notorious gossip went to receive wisdom from a rabbi.

"Certainly you may study with me!" said the rabbi, who knew of this man. "But first, you must take this feather pillow and empty it of its contents all over the land. When you are done, return and we will begin."

The man thought this was a curious request, but he went away and did as he was told. He began to enjoy himself a little as he scattered the feathers all over the countryside, watching as the wind carried a number of them away to other places. He returned to the rabbi, empty pillowcase in hand.

"Wonderful!" said the rabbi. "You now need to go back and recover all the feathers. Return to me when the case is full."

The man's heart sank. "But, Rabbi!" he cried, "that's impossible! The feathers are everywhere! They are scattered across the meadow! In the trees! On the surface of the stream! The wind even carried some off! How will I ever do that???"

"Those feathers are like words," the rabbi replied. "Once any words have left your lips, they are impossible to recover. They, too, can be carried on the wind and scattered all over, never to be taken back."

So, hey, if Nagin doesn't fully comprehend the point of this story, somebody just give him a pillowcase and tell him to stuff it.


And now for something completely different...

Weird Superstitions!

Exhibit A:

I told a friend of mine this past weekend about the little guy's musings concerning the gun-free status of the Tulane campus (check the comments on this post) and she told me a little something about the above chunk of artillery in front of the Navy Building at Tulane. Seems that back in the day, it was said that if a, uh, virtuous Newcomb gal were to walk in front of the cannon, it would go off. We both laughed at the mental picture of loads of college girls carefully walking behind the gun so as not to tempt fate. Got to wonder if this piece of nutty mythos has been passed down to present-day Tulane attendees...

Exhibit B:

The gun story called to mind my own college years, in which it was said that the little fountain in front of this venerable old library (pictured above) carried a terrible curse on it. If anyone were to drink the water from this accursed fountain, he/she would die in the city and/or state in which said fountain resides. Fellow collegians and I would regularly see bikers and joggers filling their water bottles at this fountain, and we would work extremely hard to overcome the impulse to run up behind those people and scream, "You're gonna DIE HERE! You'll NEVER LEAVE! AHH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!!!"

Anybody else got any college myths to share? Anyone? Anyone?...


Marco said...

I like the Rabbi tale a lot.
The most disturbing myth, not in the original meaning of the word though, is that college will prepare you for life on this bitter earth. The other friggin' myth is more costly but, only where money is one's true temple. The myth about great fulfilling employment and Mammon-amped salaries.

Leigh C. said...

Ahh, yes. The ULTIMATE myth...

saintseester said...

I heard the gun story when I was at Tulane ( in the old days).

Hmmmm college myths - I didn't worry about that so much, since my apartment was haunted.

Cursed Tea said...

no myths from college I'm afraid - although I'm sure there were some - and someone did try to tell me the best way to study the night before an exam was to blindingly drunk - I think that's a myth but I never tried it out!!

liked the Rabbi tale!!

Best Wishes

Funky-Rat (a/k/a Railyn) said...

Yep, that rabbi was indeed wise, and those are words to try and live by. Unfortunately, I more often than not suffer from foot-in-mouth disease.

We didn't have many myths at Youngstown. The biggest one revolved around The Rock which could be found center campus. The Rock was just that - a huge rock, that was frequently painted by any number of campus organizations.

Anywho, campus legend had it that The Rock started it's life as a mere pebble, and grew to current size purely because of the number of layers of paint on it. There is a nugget of truth there. One evening, we (some members of the marching band) went down and painted it. It appeard that a chunk of the rock had fallen off while we were doing it, but in fact, it was a rather thick chunk of pure paint - layers and layers, likely going back many many years.

We kept that chunk around the percussion room as a mascot of sorts. We named it "paint chip off the old rock". (insert rim shot and groans)